NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/18) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Don Giovanni (LAST PERFORMANCE)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $30+
“Tall, impetuous, and charged with sexuality” (New York Times), baritone Peter Mattei headlines Mozart’s timeless dark comedy. Tony Award–winning director Michael Grandage’s earthy production features a dynamic young cast, conducted by Cornelius Meister.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Youth America Grand Prix
>> Castalian String Quartet
>> Xylouris White
>> Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets
>> Monty Alexander Trio
>> Merce Cunningham Celebration

>> Forever Chinatown: A Forgotten Film with Danielle Seid

Continuing Events
>>more coming soon
>> STREB

COMING SOON (WFUV)
4/18-19 Nick Mason, Beacon Theatre
4/19 Toro Y Moi, Good Room BKLYN
4/19 Over The Rhine, City Winery
4/21 Los Amigos Invisibles & Aterciopelados, Sony Hall
4/22 The National, Beacon Theatre
4/22 Los Amigos Invisibles & Aterciopelados, Brooklyn Bowl
4/23 Bailen, Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/24 Girlpool, Hatchie, Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Youth America Grand Prix (Apr.17-20)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7PM, $
The “Stars of Today Meet Stars of Tomorrow” gala performances of this prestigious ballet-scholarship competition, now in its twentieth year, juxtapose the current finalists with ballet stars, many of whom were themselves finalists once upon a time: Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Taylor Stanley, Indiana Woodward, and more. But the biggest celebrity draw is a short and fun new piece by the American Ballet Theatre dancer Melanie Hamrick, inspired by the music and dancing style of her boyfriend, Mick Jagger, who helped arrange Rolling Stones tracks for the score. There’s a little Jagger swagger and a lot of ballet bravura.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Lincoln Center’s Great Performers
Castalian String Quartet
Atrium @ Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Third Prize winner at the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the German-trained, U.K.-based Castalian Quartet performs a free, hour-long concert featuring Britten’s intensive, inventive String Quartet No. 2 and Schubert’s wistful “Rosamunde” quartet.”
“Truly remarkable.” – Calgary Herald

Xylouris White (Apr.18-19)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 7PM, $20 (4/19 9;30PM)
“When the duo Xylouris White opened for Jonathan Richman in 2017, the headliner stood stageside, fixing the audience with a gobsmacked grin: get a load of this! His reaction was apt. The pairing of the Australian drummer Jim White and George Xylouris, a lute virtuoso from an acclaimed musical family in Crete, is a knockout. Though it is Xylouris whose fingers fly and whose voice wails, the act is a genuine duet, with White—for years a go-to drummer in indie rock’s artier enclaves—coloring every margin with elegant ferocity.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets (Apr.18-19)
@ Beacon Theatre / 7:30PM, $59+
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s band Saucerful of Secrets perform material from the classic Syd Barett period (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets), and though Roger Waters and David Gilmour’s shows may be bigger spectacles, this tour — which is the band’s first in North America — is your best chance to see a show dedicated to that era. Mason’s band includes Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, Lee Harris of Ian Dury & the Blockheads, composer Dom Beken (who frequently collaborated with Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright) and Guy Pratt, who became Floyd’s bass player in the post-Waters era.” (brooklyn vegan)

Monty Alexander Trio (Apr.18-21)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $35-$45
“In a career spanning six decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation by exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare. Combining classic, swinging jazz with the rhythms and vibrations of Jamaica, Alexander always makes good on his promise to “get everybody moving below the waist.”

Merce Cunningham Celebration (Apr.17-21)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 8PM, $85+ (may be a tough ticket, try other performances, esp. Sat 2PM, or secondary market.)
“One of the sorrows of the closure of the Merce Cunningham company, in 2011, was the loss of a beloved seasonal marker. Every spring, like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the Cunningham troupe opened its New York season, and your brain suddenly felt young and clean again. This year, in tribute to the centennial of the choreographer’s birth, the ritual will be reënacted, at the Joyce, April 17-21, in a program of revivals by three companies. Ballet West, from Salt Lake City, will perform the tranquil “Summerspace” (1958), with its famous dappled costumes. (Robert Rauschenberg, the company’s art director, stood the dancers up in front of him and sprayed Day-Glo dots on them.) The Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, from Angers, France, will do the very classical “Suite for Five” (1956), and Washington Ballet will close the show with the bang-up “Duets” (1980), for six couples, to recordings of traditional Irish drumming.” (Joan Acocella, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Forever Chinatown: A Forgotten Film with Danielle Seid
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St./ 6:30PM, $15
“Join us as professor Danielle Seid introduces and provide crucial context surrounding the “orphan” documentary film Forever Chinatown (1960) produced and directed by her grandparents. She will also share exciting discoveries uncovered in her research on the film such as the film’s surprising intersections with Hollywood and the Hong Kong New Wave. The presentation will include short film clips containing rare footage of NYC’s Chinatown and Chinese American life at mid-century.” (ThoughtGallery)

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Continuing Events


More coming soon.

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STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future (thru 04/23/19)

“Convinced that the world was not ready for her artistry in 1906, particularly as an underrepresented female in her field, af Klint of Sweden kept her work private. Her paintings anticipated by years “breakthroughs” by Kandinsky, Mondrian and others and were unseen before 1986. The Guggenheim rediscovers her.”

“Recognized as one of the art world’s earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.” (Newsday)

See our art critic’s top pick of the year.
“Luckily, the number-one pick in Jerry Saltz’s best art shows of 2018 is still running. Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum examines the work of the unacknowledged Swedish visionary and makes a case for her being the first modernist abstract painter. Saltz is especially enamored with the first gallery, so make sure you spend some time there.” (NYMagazine)

GD: Definitely worth a visit. af Klint was like the original Kandinsky and it’s interesting to see both of their works in the same museum, even if not side-by-side.

New-York Historical Society

‘BETYE SAAR: KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN’  (through May 27).

“Saar has been making important and influential work for nearly 60 years. Yet no big New York museum has given her a full retrospective, or even a significant one-person show, since a 1975 solo at the Whitney Museum of American Art. As this exhibition demonstrates, the institutional oversight is baffling, as her primary themes — racial justice and feminism (her 1972 breakthrough piece, “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” merges the two by transforming the racist stereotype of the smiling black mammy into an armed freedom fighter) — are exactly attuned to the present.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

Morgan Library & Museum

‘TOLKIEN: MAKER OF MIDDLE-EARTH’ (through May 12).

“J. R. R. Tolkien did more than write books like “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy; he invented an alternate reality, complete with its own geography, languages, religion and an era-spanning history. This exhibition of his artwork, letters, drafts and other material reminds visitors that the stories Tolkien wrote, however impressive, represent only a fraction of his efforts, and it highlights his unparalleled ability to create an immersive experience using only words and pictures. After a visit you, too, may find yourself believing in Middle-earth and the hobbits, elves, dwarves, orcs and wizards that live there. (NYT-Peter Libbey)
212-685-0008, themorgan.org

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’

“After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish for NewYorkers)

‘THE WORLD BETWEEN EMPIRES: ART AND IDENTITY IN THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST’ (through June 23).

“The Met excels at epic-scale archaeological exhibitions, and this is a prime example. It brings together work made between 100 B.C. and A.D. 250 in what we now know as Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. In the ancient world, all were in the sphere of two competing superpowers — Rome to the west and Parthia to the east — and though imperial influence was strong, it was far from all-determining. Each of the subject territories selectively grafted it onto local traditions to create distinctive new grass-roots cultural blends. Equally important, the show addresses the fate of art from the past in a politically fraught present.” (NYT-Cotter)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW) for NewYorkers

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 04/16 and 04/14.
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